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date: 27 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article provides an overview of historical influences in Asia. It identifies three distinct depictions of the past that underpin existing studies of historical influence. They are the past as destiny, the past as strategic choice, and the past as switchman effects. The article goes on to show how each perspective is rooted within different theories of order and change, something which belies identification of any singular history of the region. The article concludes with a suggestion that we develop a singular ‘varieties of capitalism’ for the region to account better for the profound impact of cross-border influences in shaping Asian business practices. This article contributes to the business systems and varieties of capitalism literature as well as literature on comparative political economy and historical institutionalism in the context of Asia and emerging markets.

Keywords: history, Asia, business systems, varieties of capitalism, institutions, political economy, historical institutionalism, South East Asia, East Asia, emerging markets

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